The EU pledges continued funding to help transition
The European Commission has approved the proposal for renewing its pre-accession financial support under theInstrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) that will help shape the future of Serbia and the whole region for the years to come.
We are proposing to invest EUR 14.1 billion between 2014 and 2020 to support reforms in the countries wishing to join the EU. This will add to the EUR 11.5 billion we have provided from 2007 to 2013. This renewed commitment gives new possibilities to the countries involved in the enlargement process to develop their economies, strengthen their governance and prepare for future membership of the Union.
With this proposal, we are giving a clear signal of our solidarity and continued commitment to European integration as well as support for democratic reforms. Despite the current economic turmoil the EU's door remains open to all countries that are eligible to enter and fulfil the necessary criteria.. And for the economic crisis, it shows more than ever before that we need an effective and efficient tool to help the region's transition, which will bring more stability and security in Europe as a whole.
This is what the new proposal is all about. We pledge to maintain the same level of funding as today until 2020 to ensure long-term financial support for the reform process. At the same time, we propose concrete improvements in the way these funds will be delivered to achieve even better results. These new instruments will allow us to respond even better to our partner's needs and ambitions. Our support to partner countries will become faster and more flexible; We want to reward the best performers. We want to prioritise projects that directly benefit citizens, for example improved administration and public services, better judiciary and a more effective fight against crime and corruption, upgraded infrastructure and a healthier environment. Finally, we want the new assistance to be more flexible, ensuring that funds may go swiftly to where the needs and capacities to absorb them exist.
Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy
What's in it for Serbia?
In Serbia, IPA assistance has ranged from funding the rebuilding of the Žeželj Bridge over the Danube, to the provision of cancer scanners for hospitals and security equipment for airports.
The changes proposed will allow more flexibility to address better and faster Serbia's specific needs. The possibility to allocate more funds to reward performances in the implementation of EU-funded projects will greatly benefit Serbia.